February 5, 2013
Manti Te'o, Lance Armstrong in dead heat as 'most disliked athletes'
By Sports Xchange
Linebacker Manti Te’o, who led Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season until his life turned a tangent because of an apparent online hoax, tied in a poll for the most disliked athlete in the country, according to poll released Tuesday.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong, who admitted recently to decades of doping and cover-ups, tied Te’o for the top spot on the annual list.
Nielsen Sports and market research firm E-Poll conducted the annual poll. Candidates were limited to those scoring a minimum of 10 percent public awareness.
Te’o anchored a top defense that helped Notre Dame to its first undefeated season in 24 years. He elected to remain in college for his senior season, which became more noteworthy as he dealt with the September deaths of his grandmother and a woman, Lennay Kekua, that he said was his girlfriend.
Te’o has become a national punch line since it was revealed that he was part of a hoax involving Kekua, who in fact never existed. While he and the school claim he was the victim.
Te’o and Armstrong appeal to only 15 percent of the respondents.
The rest of the top 10 is golfer Tiger Woods, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Falling out of this year’s poll were Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries, Miami Heat forward LeBron James, NFL receiver Plaxico Burress, Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens.